Me, Myself, and I

I just feel really grateful this morning. It totally helped to read Jennifer's post. It is amazing how faithful God is to us as we struggle. I am reminded more and more that His promise to us is sure, His love true. It is hard for us as people corrupted to see beyond our sin-sick hearts. We think of God in a way that WE would be if we were God. That is what makes redemption so incredible. It is beyond who we are, unlike anything we could fully be. And if we were perfect, we would not need Jesus. Our imperfection, our state of sin, is the very thing that can either keep us completely away from Him, or keep us safely tucked away with Him.

I realize that this is probably no-brainer material. But to be honest, I forget all the time. I get busy with life and my own little idols and do not recall. It is in my nature. That is why Jesus tells us to "love your neighbor as yourself." I already love myself. It is a given. I am asked to reach out beyond myself to love others. The idea is for every Christian to get their minds OFF themselves. Our complete preoccupation is hopelessly ourselves. Self-loathing is indeed self-love. Oprah teaches us the opposite though. ---Love yourself and then you will be fit to love others. A lie.

And how did I get to that? My point is, WE are our own little idols. WE keep ourselves away from God. WE do not deny ourselves. When we get our minds off ourselves, we find that we are in a better place. I am my own worst enemy.


~Jennifer said...

I was listening to Joyce Meyer yesterday while I made dinner, and she was saying the same thing. She said show me an unhappy person, and I'll show you a person who is too wrapped up in themselves. (or something like that.)

R said...

Blogger lost my comment. Argh.

I don't like Joyce, but some of the stuff she says is true.

I think what the danger can be in that statement is that no one should ever be sad or depressed.---Like in all cases it is wrong. I don't think so. I think those things are just a part of human suffering and are legitimate in many ways. Sometimes they are the very things that lead us to God.

Anonymous said...

i'm gonna have to back up R here. to say an unhappy person is wrapped up in themselves, is to blame them for their problems. sometimes, there are people who have an extraordinary amount of bad luck, and they really didn't make those choices. and the things that happen to them make them unhappy, maybe just for a little bit, but I don't think I would blame them, or say they were wrong or weak for being unhappy with stuff that was out of their control

Lisa said...

Interesting food for thought! *Crunch*

wessexcathedral said...

Sometimes people are to blame for their own problems. Many times things just happen to encounter them and therefore cause them problems, but a lot of problems people have are from their own choices. But regardless of that reality, it is OK to be upset about what you bring on yourself, or what you don't bring on yourself.

The problem is dwelling on it and making it your friend. Like I was saying, the suffering can lead you far from God because you blame Him, or it can lead you to huddle closer to Him because you realize that you are not in control like He is and you need to submit and trust Him.

There is a point though, where one needs to look outside of the personal scope and focus on others. This is when you are still loving yourself but yet loving your neighbor.

Emma Sometimes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma Sometimes said...

Good stuff.

I have too much to add but I'll try.

It's good to concentrate on other people but I have been on the other side of the coin, always looking out for the other person to the point of self & family detriment.

I went to a women of faith conference and one of the things that hit me in a big way, is that God doesn't want a sad, burned out, tired martyr for a mother/wife.

I'm no saint but I just can't spend money on myself, to get a pedicure, or just to take time for me. Even my hubby gives me money to spend and I bring home something for the kids. I cry WHILE doing dishes for pete's sake because the house needs work and I can't stop to even feel lousy. I had a raging back problem but I didn't get it checked because the electric bill needs to be paid.

It's still the wrong focus with the same root: not giving things to God. It's a control issue.

So when things aren't in our control, like my hubby's lack of work and our FICO score going down the terlit and on the verge of possibly losing my house, I can get discouraged even when it's not anything I could have done differently and completely out of my control.(and I think that was Badoozer's point).

For both extremes, it's about giving it to God, knowing that Keith Green was right..He'll take care of the rest.

Great post Rachey!

~Jennifer said...

True enough about depression and legitimate grief. However, every time I've been depressed, whether it's a cause or effect, I'm not sure, but I am very focused on myself. I don't think she was talking about grief, though. Taken in context, she was talking about people who are just generally unhappy with their lives and themselves.

R said...

Emma---I think you are right. I have no argument with that. I as well, have issues with buying myself anything except chocolate. Even Dear Sir makes pains to tell me to go and do something for myself and I just have issues with it. There is definitely a balance with all that kind of stuff and I am on that deprivation sort of spectrum.

MY whole point is that yes, life does hit hard, there is suffering, and "loving myself" is not the answer.

Giving it to God is a true thing, but sometimes a person who is down and out does not understand what that means. There is no tangible thing to do with "giving it to God."---but that is yet another avenue. I do think what you mean is that we are not in control, and just resigning to that fact. The key is to remind ourselves of that daily so we do not get lost in the muddle of life's hardships (and even wonderful things).

Jennifer---I totally agree with you too on the fact that when anyone is depressed they are totally wrapped up in themselves. I think that is true. I think it is fact. It does not mean that it is necessarily bad. There is a time and place for it, I think. Maybe this is a signal that we need to refocus and submit to the fact that God is indeed in control.

This is what I mean about the loving yourself stuff. We already do. When depressed, when hungry, when tired, when mad, when weary, when happy, when anything, we are thinking of ourselves. Always. How will I be fed? How will I get out of this rut? If only things were better for me! Etc, etc. When it gets down to it, we want to survive. We want to survive because we naturally love and care for ourselves.

Jesus was just asking us to go a little further and love others as intimately and as full of concern as we do our own selves.

A person who is generally unhappy about everything is just plain ungrateful, and yes, full of self-love. And whenever I get bit by the unhappy bug, I am first in line.